Bigots Behind Badges? The Chief Will Flush ‘em Out

--Hartford, Conn.'s police chief is so incensed by racist and sexist graffiti on bathroom walls at police headquarters that he has ordered a partition in the men’s room removed so a handwriting expert can identify the culprits. The writings include coarse insults directed at individual women and minority police officers. They suggest that the officers improperly advanced themselves in the department, officials said. Some of the graffiti also are directed at minority members of the Hartford City Council. “This is racist and sexist, not the normal latrine humor,” Police Chief Bernard Sullivan said, explaining his decision to remove the partition in the men’s room reserved for sergeants and officers. The chief would not say what action he would take against anyone who is implicated. His name also has appeared on the walls, Sullivan said. “I’ve always laughed it off. It comes with the turf. But I’m not going to let individual members of the department become targets in a slander campaign.”

--A tiny Jewish congregation in Mississippi has resorted to advertising for out-of-towners to ensure that it can hold its own services during the Jewish High Holy Days this month. Congregation Ohel Jacob in Meridian, east of Jackson, is even offering to pay for meals and lodging for outsiders who come to worship on Rosh Hashanah, today and Tuesday, or on Yom Kippur on Sept. 25. “We need people for services,” said Sammie Davidson, 80, a member of the synagogue. Under Jewish law, there must be a “minyan"--a group for public prayer service made up of at least 10 Jewish males over 13 years of age. “There are 10 or 11 men right now, but if one gets sick, we’re in trouble,” Davidson said. The congregation, whose last rabbi left 15 years ago, has placed an advertisement in five newspapers around the state in the hope of attracting non-members to its services. For those who need it, “all lodging and meals are paid by our congregation,” the ad said.

--Film star Rock Hudson, who is suffering from AIDS, will make a large contribution to launch a foundation for fighting the disease, his spokesman said. “He has other beneficiaries, but his contribution to AIDS research will be sizable,” Dale Olson said. He said Hudson’s business aides were setting up a Rock Hudson Foundation to finance research into acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Olson said he could not disclose how much the amount would be or when Hudson would make the donation. Hudson’s friends, led by actress Elizabeth Taylor, were hoping to raise $1 million for AIDS research from a celebrity dinner in Los Angeles next Thursday. But Olson said Hudson’s contribution would not be announced then because of the amount of work involved in setting up the foundation.